An Overview of Thyroid Disease

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The Thyroid Q&A, What Do You Know About Thyroid Disease?

A lot of my patients wonder if they have a thyroid disease. It’s a common women’s health problem that can sometimes affect men as well. 

Today we are going to do a quick Q&A on Thyroid disease, this way, you can explore the signs and symptoms associated with hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism. 

It’s essential to know the signs and symptoms because these conditions can be managed and possibly even healed when tackled at the root.

Naturopathic medicine works to weed out these problems so that you can get your life back, so let’s jump in and explore this Q&A. 

Q1: What is the thyroid gland?

Answer: 

Your thyroid is a butterfly. Really, it is a small gland located at the base of the neck that has two wings. The thyroid secretes two hormones throughout your entire body and is an integral key to your metabolic function.  

An Overview of Thyroid Disease | Naturopathic Dr

Doctors call the two hormones that your thyroid secrete T3 and T4. Essentially your thyroid affects your energy, your body’s ability to break down food, gain and lose weight.

Oh, but there is so much more, your thyroid also controls how fast your heart beats, your body temperature, cholesterol levels, and even your menstrual cycle. 

So realistically, this little 2-inch butterfly flickers life throughout your entire body. 

It’s pretty important. 

Q2: How does a thyroid disease Impact women?

Answer: 

The American Thyroid Association currently estimates that 20 million Americans have a thyroid disease. What’s even more shocking is that 1 in 8 women will probably develop thyroid disease in their lifetime. 

So It impacts women profoundly, and some of the problems that thyroid disease can cause in women are things like missed periods, trouble getting pregnant, and concerns during pregnancy. 

Q3: What is Hypothyroidism?

Answer:

Hypothyroidism is when your thyroid is underactive. This means the gland is not producing enough hormones for your body to function optimally. 

An Overview of Thyroid Disease | Naturopathic Dr

Sometimes hypothyroidism can be challenging to recognize. You may just think that your weight gain and low energy are due to growing older. 

It is essential to get tested so that your symptoms do not worsen and you can be treated sooner rather than later. 

Here are some symptoms to look out for. 

  • Symptoms of Hypothyroidism
  • Fatigue
  • Sensitivity to cold
  • Hair loss
  • Weight gain
  • Depression
  • Low energy 
  • Always tired
  • Muscle weakness
  • Dry skin

Your body deserves relief from these symptoms and sometimes that means lifestyle changes, and changing your eating habits. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms you should speak with a naturopathic doctor and make sure you get the root cause before diagnosing hypothyroidism. 

Q4: What is hyperthyroidism?

Answer:

Hyperthyroidism is when that little butterfly of yours is working too hard and fluttering way too much T3 and T4 throughout the body. 

An Overview of Thyroid Disease | Naturopathic Dr

This can cause problems such as irregular menstrual cycles in women, weight loss, and a lot of bathroom visits. 

An overactive thyroid is dangerous because it can lead to things like stroke and graves disease. If you are experiencing any of the symptoms listed below, it’s a good idea to head out and see a doctor. 

Symptoms of Hyperthyroidism 

  • Super hungry all the time
  • Anxiousness 
  • Increased heart rate
  • Hair loss
  • Brittle hair
  • Sleep difficulty 
  • Difficulty concentrating

It is essential to understand where your problems stem from, there is no need to stress if you are experiencing these symptoms. You are taking the next step in figuring out the root cause of your health issues by reading up on what is happening to your body. 

Q5: How are thyroid diseases treated? 

Answer:

This is a great question and one that does not have a single solution. Your traditional doctor would prescribe levothyroxine for hypothyroidism or methimazole for hyperthyroidism. 

Sometimes doctors go as far as removing the thyroid gland completely. 

An Overview of Thyroid Disease | Naturopathic Dr

Before you undergo such extreme measures, you should weigh out all your options. Think about it, we are talking about the most important gland in your body, one that interacts with all your vital organs.

Naturopathic doctors firmly stand by their beliefs. And these beliefs include the body’s natural and inherent ability to heal itself.

Everyone has a different body, and no two bodies are the same. A naturopathic doctor will not treat your hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism the same as everyone else, because you are different than every other patient that walks in the door. 

The Natural Path to Healing

The natural path to healing takes time. It takes determination to change your lifestyle and the daily choices you make. 

It might mean that changing your diet is in order. It is also important to talk to your naturopathic doctor about the natural herbs available to aid the process of healing your body. 

An Overview of Thyroid Disease | Naturopathic Dr

If you are experiencing any of the symptoms listed above, now is the time to get to the root cause of your health.

Your thyroid works with your body as a whole daily, so it is crucial for your thyroid function to thrive.  

Living a happy, healthy, and active life key to overcoming your health issues, and there are actually a lot of ways to implement complementary and alternative medicine.  

This includes things like yoga, meditation, and de-stressing activities. 

The American Thyroid Association also recommends things like hypnosis, Reiki, and Tai Chi. Scientists today are finding out that there is no such thing as a cure-all for every body type. And your mind can be a powerful tool concerning your body. 

Talk to Dr. Karen Threlkle today, and begin to understand your body in a whole new way. 

I am located in Washington, DC, and happy to help discover and uncover what makes your body so unique! 

About The Author:

Dr. Karen Threlkel

Dr. Karen Threlkel

Dr. Threlkel received her degree of Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine from The National College for Naturopathic Medicine (now called The National University of Natural Medicine) in Portland, Oregon. She also holds a Bachelor Degree in Kinesiology from The University of Maryland. She is licensed in Naturopathic Medicine by the Government of the District of Columbia Department of Health. Dr. Threlkel is a member of the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians, past president & current member of the Washington DC Association of Naturopathic Physicians.

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